In addition, we got to see Phelps get one more medal than Spitz did. Once Phelps won the medal I told the guys that ratings were going to go down because Phelps just blew any reasonable perception of medals. Well, ESPN just put out an article that NBC worried that ratings were going to go down because Phelps was finished for the games. Think about it…..with every race or competition in the games there will be winners and losers. We expect this. However, we don’t expect people to not only break world records but also break records that could easily go unbroken for another 7 – 10 games. I wonder if the networks are going to start years in advance to help create hype and build it. Also, if you watched the race did you notice that there was a VISA commercial right after it congratulating Phelps. I don’t think that this is bad but only proper planning and hind-sight 20/20 ROI. Phelps is only 23 and has a good many years to go to break even more records. Hopefully Phelps will be able to handle the stress of being a celebrity a little better than he did before. As you know he was put on probation for a DUI.
Phelps has a great opportunity to be a positive influence on a great number of people. I would think that there is going to be a marked increase in people who are going to get in the pool to help sustain the feeling of a little victory that they felt watching Phelps win all those medals. One thing I learned from my dad was what he would tell us before leaving any camp ground, “Son, you have to leave it better than the way that you found it.” I think that this would be something that Phelps and really anyone else should keep in mind. No matter what stage of life you are in or what recourses you may or may not have….leave this world better than the way you found it. It is because of this mindset that Newton wrote to Robert Hooke stating, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Leave the world better so that those who may come after us will have clearing so that may see clearly to go farther than we were able to.
I think what attracts us to Phelps is that he is living the classic American Dream. He worked hard and made the proper sacrifices to prepare himself for these races. I also can’t say enough for the sacrifice of his family and mom. Parents consistently sacrifice their wants and desires for their children’s wants and desires. I think that one of the most memorable experiences that I had with my mom what when she took me to visit the Santa Clara Drum and Bugle corps just because I wanted to video tape them. So go MOM and other great MOM’s of the world.
A Short Aside: The only sad part about Phelps and this winnings is that I didn’t try to be friends with him on FaceBook before he got so proper. I hope he doesn’t think that I want to be his friend because of what he did. That would be soooo shallow!!!!!!